There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permits. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.
When I’m coaching my clients, we often work with commitment. I’ve learned that there are many varying ideas of what commitment actually is. I want to share with you what I call “Olympic Commitment.”
Olympic Commitment is making myself and the goal I’m committed to of highest importance. To demonstrate Olympic Commitment, I’m going to share a fictional story about a young female swimmer. Let’s call her Sherry.
Sherry is 20 years old and dreams of winning gold at the Olympics. So she finds the world’s most successful Olympic coach who happens to live in Colorado. The coach and her meet and the coach explains he has one spot on his coaching roster and that if she were to train with him, she would have to be in Colorado every Tuesday at 2pm-3:30pm. If she chose to work with him, they would train for one year. Sherry agreed and moved to the mountains to start her new training.
The training was working. She soon began winning meets and even getting publicity on a national level. At about the 6 month mark, Sherry gets a phone call from the President, Barack Obama. President Obama’s voice rings through her voice mail, “Sherry, I saw you swim last week and you were incredible. My daughters are big fans and I would like to meet you in person. I will be in Colorado next Tuesday and have a short window that I could meet you. Can you meet me at 2pm for one hour?”
Sherry was elated. The President of the United States wanted to meet her, another life-long dream! And he was only available to meet her at 2 pm, the same time she trains with her coach.
If you were Sherry, what would you do?
Sherry calls the President.
Mr. President. I am honored and excited to receive your call. I would love to meet you. However, on the day you will be visiting, I will be in the pool training with my coach from 2-3:30pm. As you may know, I’m committed to Olympic gold in 2012. ‘That being said, I would like to invite you (and your family) to be my special guest during my 2pm training. Although we would not be able to visit during this time, you would get to see me in action and see how I create success in the pool. I will be available after 3:30 to meet you and would very much like to spend some time with you and the first lady. Please let me know of your plans no later than 6pm tomorrow so I can make proper arrangements. With Love and Respect, Sherry
Sherry is demonstrating Olympic Commitment. This kind of inner clarity has Presidents changing their schedules. It has people gathering around you like your hair is on fire watching your every move with wild-eyed anticipation.
Many believe this kind of commitment is reserved only for CEO’s, Superstars and Olympians. But it’s not. Olympic Commitment lies inside each and every one of us. And if we were to exercise it we would not only create miraculous results, but we would unleash the miracle that each of us is here on this planet to be.
These days it can be easy to focus on everybody else’s objectives and dreams. It can be commonplace to put others needs above our own. Whether it be our children’s, our spouse’s or our employer’s, we often find ourselves quickly showing up for others while being late for our own life and goals. What if you were to make your life, your dreams and your purpose of highest importance?
I’m not suggesting that we blow off our responsibilities or neglect the people we love. Rather, I’m suggesting that committing to ourselves on this level has us being even more present, more alive and more helpful to both ourselves and those we serve.
There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.
Join me for moment and think of the most important goal in your life at this time. What might happen with that goal if you were to apply Olympic Commitment? What might happen inside of you? Would your attitude shift? Would you operate differently? What would you say yes to? What would you say no to? What might be possible?
Experience has taught me that trying to apply this principle into all areas of my life at one time will feel overwhelming. When I am coaching one of my clients, we’ll often focus on one small goal to start with. After there’s growth in that area, and when there’s been a consistent demonstration of Olympic Commitment, we’ll begin applying it to another area, and so on.
Olympic Commitment can help you create incredible results inside of you and outside of you. Would you be bad or wrong if you didn’t do it or fell short at times? ‘Of course not. But choosing this level of commitment and doing your very best to demonstrate it will have you winning Olympic gold in the most important game of all- your life.